Very Nervous Springer Spaniel

Hi Everyone


I have a 14 month Springer Spaniel Male who has been neutered. The problem I have is when we are out walking he growls at every dog, barks at them and his hackles are all on end. Once I take him to meet the dog he lies on his back and is very submissive and then wants to play. When he is off the lead usually with his ball he is not interested at all in any dogs he is fixated with his ball. He is so confident in his home environment. He comes to work with me everday and has about two hours excercise a day he is very well socialised with people and plays with the other dogs at work of a lunchtime. I need to be able to teach myself to help him become less nervous and more confident in himself. This is my fourth Springer and have never encountered this problem so I need some help.

Many thanks Joanne

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Oct 23, 2011
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Nervous ESS
by: Anonymous

You say that he is ok when he is off his lead and playing ball, then presumably you have the trouble when he is on his lead?

I would think this would be a nervous agression and the fight or flight reaction and seeing that he is on his lead only the fight is available.

I would take a squeaky ball with you on leaded walks and get his attention when you walk past other dogs with the ball and then let him play with it for a bit as a reward.

Oct 04, 2011
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Nervous Springer
by: Anonymous

My springer also had nervour issues, we rescued our springer at 7 months old he was abused and couldnt even walk very well when we got him.

he has slowly over come his issues with dogs except bigger dogs like shepard and greyhounds, it like he feels intimidated,

so we started getting people to get their bigger dogs to just play near him and over time he seems to be coping better with them being around we reward him when he doesnt react and ignore as best we can when he does, he usually doesnt bite any other dogs.

also our Springer was frightned of strange items like Pumpkins and garden gnomes and so on, when i saw him nevous with an object i leave it out where he has to go near it and then when he does finally smell it i reward him, now he rarly gets scared of items.

Good luck with your Springer :-)

Oct 03, 2011
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my solution with a nervous springer
by: Anonymous

My friend Pip is exactly the same. She is sweet, playful but when she sees the other dogs she gets furious. The only thing that calms her down, if I stroke her or cuddle her and make her feel safe with me, while the other dog is still around (even if they are in the middle of fighting). Though I noticed that she does it only when the other dog gets near me, never if the dog is at a certain distance. So, I take it as she is either trying to protect me from other dogs or she is trying to secure her place with me and tries to scare away all the other dogs because of her feeling threatened and insecure (her space has been 'invaded' an year ago by a Labrador pup and I think she associates every other dog with a potential invader). That's all I came up with.

Oct 03, 2011
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nervous springer girl
by: sally

Hi,

I also have a nervous springer who is 2 yrs old.

She is a rescue dog and haas been with us 6mths.
Millie is very submissive indoors although this has improved.

Millie runs and hides from the hoover , hairdryer, mop.

And when i take her for a walk she jumps and becomes very anxious at paper bags , strange noises.

And i had a job to walk her tonight over the railway crossing . She hated the gates going up and down and became very nervous and draagged me home.

Of course i do not no how millie was treated before coming into our home, but i would love to really help her, she is the most beautifull loving dog and we are so glad we have her.

Any ideas would be much appreciated .

Sep 29, 2011
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Nervous Springer
by: Michele

Sounds like you're doing everything you should be doing. Socializing is a big part of getting over nerves, but taking him to work regularly and allowing him to meet other dogs is definitely socializing, so I'd recommend a dog trainer. They will observe him to see what's going on and then they'll be able to make some recommendations and help both of you out.

Good luck!

Sep 29, 2011
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Very Nervous Springer Spaniel
by: Anonymous

I would work on getting him concentrated on you and not fixated on the dog approaching, using toys or treats. Once you meet the dog they can be introduced without him having been totally focussed on the dog approaching
good luck

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